LOS ANGELES, June 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- UMC – Urban Movie Channel, a premium subscription-based video streaming service exclusive to RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) created by Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) today announced they have acquired a multi-year license of over 40 hours of urban-themed content from Starz Digital, the worldwide digital and on-demand syndication arm of Starz, to be debuted on the channel over the summer.
"We are excited to have acquired an array of titles from Starz Digital that will bolster our UMC content library," said Angela Northington, RLJ Entertainment's SVP of Urban Content Acquisitions. "This package is comprised of titles ranging from comedy and drama to action/thriller and documentary. It is in line with what our Chairman, Bob Johnson, has envisioned for growing the UMC digital channel," she concluded.
Mara Winokur, Senior Vice President at Starz Digital commented, "Starz Digital is always seeking new opportunities to identify relationships with distributors on emerging digital platforms. This recent UMC agreement brings strong titles from our portfolio of urban library programming with an on-target digital outlet that is a great match for the content."
Among the titles secured in the Starz Digital package are five seasons of the popular Martin Lawrence Presents: First Amendment stand-up STARZ comedy series featuring actor, writer, and comedian Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys I & II, Big Momma's House) as host and presenter; Phunny Business featuring comedian Dave Chappelle (Chappelle's Show, Half Baked), and the late comedian and actor Bernie Mac (The Bernie Mac Show, Ocean's Eleven); and Lies and Illusions starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Jerry Maguire, Men of Honor) and Christian Slater (Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, True Romance); and the award-winning History of Jazz: Oxygen for the Ears documentary featuring jazz giants Esperanza Spalding, Thelonius Monk, Norah Jones, and many more.
ABOUT RLJ ENTERTAINMENT
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent owner, developer, licensee, and distributor of entertainment content and programming in primarily North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres including feature films and urban with distinct content via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Acacia (fitness), Athena (documentaries), and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, and digital streaming.
Through Acorn Productions, its UK production arm, RLJE owns all rights to the hit UK mystery series Foyle's War and is developing new programs. RLJE owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited, which manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its branded digital subscription channels, Acorn TV, AcaciaTV, and UMC - Urban Movie Channel, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. Through its proprietary e-commerce web sites and print catalogs for the Acorn and Acacia brands, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers. For more information, please visit www.RLJEntertainment.com.
ABOUT UMC - URBAN MOVIE CHANNEL
UMC - Urban Movie Channel (urbanmoviechannel.com) launched in November 2014. UMC is a premium subscription-based streaming service exclusive to RLJ Entertainment, Inc. and it is devoted to the acquisition of feature films, comedy specials, stage plays, documentaries, music, and entertainment for African American and urban audiences, with plans to move into future development and production. New titles are added weekly in addition to the more than 150 titles in our UMC library, which include live stand-up performances featuring Academy Award ® winner Jamie Foxx and comedic rock star Kevin Hart; documentaries Dark Girls and I Ain't Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac; feature films All Things Fall Apart starring Grammy Award ® winner 50 Cent and directed by Mario Van Peebles, The Last Fall starring budding superstars Lance Gross and Nicole Beharie, and The Colony starring Laurence Fishburne; and stage play productions including What My Husband Doesn't Know by David E. Talbert, who is described by Variety as "the acknowledged kingpin of urban musicals." UMC is available on the Roku platform and subscribers can access UMC from their tablet, phone and laptop to watch movies from today's most recognizable talent available on demand and commercial-free. Please visit www.urbanmoviechannel.com.
ABOUT STARZ DIGITAL
Starz Digital is a leading distributor of digital and on-demand content. Starz Digital distributes original programming content (Starz and AMC), feature films (The Weinstein Company, Starz Digital, Anchor Bay Films), anime (Manga Entertainment) and other filmed entertainment utilizing various business models including download-to-own/electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported streaming. Starz Digital also programs and supports numerous ad-supported broadband channels and develops games, applications and other related content from many of its properties for distribution worldwide. Starz Digital is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com.
SOURCE RLJ Entertainment, Inc.